Keeping your brushes clean
An artist is only as good as the tools they use – and when it comes to getting your make-up right, the same mantra applies. With a dizzying array of shapes and size, brushes are an irreplaceable part of your make-up collection, so of course it’s important to make sure they’re clean to avoid any mishaps next time you use them.
So how do you ensure that your brushes are kept in pristine condition? In this blog, we’re going to have a short look at the best ways to keep them looking, and working as new.
Cream or powder?
Depending on their use, brushes will require a different approach to cleaning. Those which have been used for powder only are usually quick and easy to deal with – but if they’ve been used with a cream, a little more elbow-grease will be necessary.
If you’re cleaning powder make-up brushes, ignore the three steps below and skip straight to the next section. If you brush has been used for cream, make sure you do the following first:
- Unlike brushes used for powder, cream can harden on the bristles and as a result will most likely not clean properly without an additive to loosen it.
- Using olive oil or similar, gently massage the bristles. The oil will help to break down the molecular bonds in the cream.
- Use kitchen tissue to remove the bulk of the remaining cream and dispose.
How to clean your make-up brushes
- Hold the brush with the bristles aimed downwards under running, lukewarm water while gently rubbing them with your fingers until the water runs clear.
- Using a small ceramic bowl, add sensitive shampoo (or baby shampoo) to lukewarm water and gently rub the bristles beneath the surface with your fingers – but make sure not to immerse them too deeply, as the water could cause the connective metal banding to rust, and damage the glue that holds the bristles in place.
- Rinse thoroughly but softly under lukewarm water again until all soap suds have disappeared.
- Use kitchen tissue to remove the moisture from the bristles while straightening them with your fingers (to prevent a misshapen head once dry).
- Place horizontally to dry, ideally with the bristles suspended so that the air can reach every part of the brush’s surface area – any moisture that stays in the brush is likely to a build-up of bacteria and will most likely end up developing an unwanted smell.
Make the job easier for next time
As with many things in life, brushes maintain their quality longer if you clean them as you go, and store them correctly – so you’re less likely to have a sudden panic wondering how to clean make-up brushes when they’ve reached a terrible state.
Allowing excessive amounts of cream or powder to remain on the brushes after use will cause the bristles to lose shape and ultimately make them harder to clean. If you keep a small bowl of sensitive shampoo on hand when applying your make-up, you’d be surprised how easy it is to keep your brushes in tip-top condition.
It is also important to remember that once the brushes are dry, correct storage away from direct sunlight will help to prolong their lifespan – so why not try a few of the following tips:
- Never put your brushes away before they are dry, or bacterial growth is likely
- Never store your brushes with the bristles down – the weight of the handle will deform the shape of the head
- Remember that make-up brushes use hair that can be quite delicate, so handle them as such when considering how to clean make-up brushes
- Only use natural ventilation to dry the brushes – hot air and radiators will only make the bristles more brittle and prone to damage in the future
Get stocked up on new brushes
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